Emotional First Aid, Trauma Tapping Technique
I had an early morning activity on Saturday morning at the BADth Conference, stating even before breakfast was served. I don’t mind an early start but it is rare that I do anything much before breakfast. Here is what the programme said to tempt me to book this activity.
“During December 2018–January 2019 I volunteered at Camp Moria Lesvos, Greece. The conditions in the camp are horrendous. Most of the refugees do not feel safe, especially at night and especially vulnerable women and children.
Whilst at the camp I offered Trauma Tapping Technique, an emotional first aid that is an offshoot of Emotional Freedom Technique. In this service I was sustained by peer supervision and my own toolbox of knowledge, skills and experience.
The Trauma Tapping Technique takes 10 minutes to do and is helpful in calming emotional responses to stress and traumatic experiences and has been valued by over 100,000 people in 20 countries. It is a First Aid technique. Anybody and everybody can do it, but it is not intended to replace professional help.
We will start with a wake-up, using rhythm and movement leading to an introduction to TTT. There will be ample time to practice on yourselves and others.
I will then share stories and songs about TTT that are used around the world, and the world- wide network of TTT.
For an informative session with a global perspective, please join me, Liz Merrick.”British Association of Dramatherapists, 2019 Conference programme. Page 13-14
What is TTT? The Tapping Heals the Trauma
When we experience trauma our bodies may become rigid, holding in the tension or they may become floppy and start to feel like we are not really in control of them. Sometime we start to feel disconnected from our body, we may feel repulsion towards it or indifference or many other things that make it harder to feel happy in our skin.
TTT targets areas of the body where trauma is often stored and encourage awareness and blood flow to these areas. These are points which are also stimulated in many other forms of ancient healing such as acupuncture and acupressure. The tapping calls us back to our body, the gentle tap to reawaken a playful sense of grounding and connection. Our brains respond to this tapping by reducing the amount of cortisol – the stress hormone.
“Trauma Tapping Technique is a First Aid technique that can heal symptoms of stress and trauma. It is related to Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) but can be used without language. It is a mind/body tool that clears physical and emotional blocks from your energy system with your fingers, breath and intention. It is linked to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM believes that there is a meridian system, an intricate web of energy that flows through our body. These meridians, energetic pathways, closely resemble the nervous system and they are responsible for channelling energy through the physical body to the organs and tissues of the body. If the flow of energy is blocked through stress or trauma, the flow can be disrupted and the body can become dis-eased.
The Meridian system is an inter-connected circuit of energy channels throughout the body. There are 20 meridians: 12 main and 8 minor that run up and down the body. When you tap on the meridians in TTT you influence the subtle energy flow in the body that can lead to profound positive changes in both emotional and physical health.
TTT uses a specific set of tapping techniques. You can learn how to “do,” TTT in 10 minutes and you can;
1. Treat yourself
2. Treat others
3. Teach and treat large groups of people”TTT Conference pack by Liz Merrick and the Peaceful Heart Network. Page 2
How to do it?
Start on one side (I started by tapping with the right onto the left)
Make a fist or karate chop with one hand and using two fingers on the other hand tap on the bottom edge of your hand (the part which would do the karate chop). The tapping should be rhythmic and repetitive. Some people like to count out ten taps on each location, other people like to tap for longer.
Next take both hands and tap on the inside corners of the eyebrows. Once you have tapped there 10 or so times move to the outside of the eye and tap there then tap under the eye.
Use whichever is your main tapping hand in this round to then tap under the nose and then under the mouth.
Use both hands to do the gorilla tap on the collar bone. This one is particularly good for releasing trauma.
Lift your non tapping hand and use your tapping hand to tap the side of your rib cage. This one is great for happiness.
Returning to the hands tap where the nail meets the nail bed on each finger and thumb in turn.
Return to tapping the collar bone.
Clap your hands together and then rub rapidly to create some heat.
Take a deep breath as you gentle cover your eyes with your now warmer hands. After a moment breath out as you slowly trace your warm hands up over your forehead and over and round to the top of your spine.
Start again this time using your other hand as the main tapping hand.
The Meridian Points As used in TTT
The technique works whether you know the points or not but if you are a bit curious and want to know more about how tapping your face, hands and bodies could possibly help with trauma, here is some of the traditional healing associations for those locations on the body and what they stimulate internally.
|Tapping Point No.||Body Part||Meridian||Resolves and supports|
|1||Side of Hand Karate Chop||Small intestine||Inability to let go or change; sadness, vulnerability, anxiety, obsessions and compulsions.|
Supports: ability to move forward, connect with present and let go of old patterns and grief
|2||Eyebrow||Bladder and Stomach||Frustration, shock, sorrow, impatience, agitation, fear, anxiety, hopelessness|
Supports: peace and hope
|3||Side of eye||Triple warmer Gall bladder, Small intestine||Rage, anger, resentment, fear of change, muddled thinking and judgemental attitude|
Supports: Clarity, compassion, tolerance and kindness
|4||Under eye||Stomach||Fear, anxiety, meaninglessness, obsessive worry, nervousness and disappointment|
Supports: Contentment, calm & security
|5||Under nose||Large intestine||Embarrassment, powerlessness, shame, guilt, grief, fear of failure, the need to control or hold on|
Supports: self-acceptance, self-empowerment, compassion for self and others
|6||Chin||Stomach||Confusion, uncertainty, shame, embarrassment, vulnerability and second guessing|
Supports: clarity, focus, security, confidence, self-acceptance and the feeling of being grounded
|7||Collar bone||Kidney||Grief, feeling stuck, indecision, worry and general stress|
Supports: ease in moving forward, confidence and clarity
|8||Under arm||Spleen||Guilt, worry, obsessing, hopelessness, insecurity, poor self-esteem|
Supports: clarity, confidence, relaxation, self-compassion and compassion for others
|10||Index finger||Large Intestine|
|12||Ring finger||“Sanjao” Triple warmer in TCM/ controls fight, flight, freeze|
Table taken from TTT Conference pack by Liz Merrick and the Peaceful Heart Network. Page 6-7
Pairs Work Tapping
After going through the tapping cycle three times to learn the order and to start to identify where the best tapping spots are on our own body, we were invited to do some pairs work.
Relaxing music was played as we offered this simple but effective form of self care, tuning into the emotional experience for our partner to notice when the tapping needed to move to the next location or where they might benefit from more taps as they gently let go.
Once we had swapped over we had a chance to give each other feedback on our first try at tapping and our first experience of being tapped using TTT.
How will I remember? There’s an app for that.
Download the app “Self Help For Trauma” which shows you the points to tap and order so you can do this even when you are too triggered or tense to remember all the steps.
Visit the website: Self Help For Trauma
Liz Merreck’s website: http://www.felledge.co.uk/
“Liz Merrick has thirty years’ experience in Education as a teacher, trainer, Dramatherapist, supervisor and specialist teacher in Social Emotional Mental Health Teams in Lincolnshire and Bradford.”British Association of Dramatherapists, 2019 Conference programme. Page 14
It might have been before breakfast but this workshop was definitely worth getting up for.